USC Gamecocks Baseball

South Carolina’s 2019 ace done with college ball, officially signs with MLB team

Once South Carolina pitcher Reid Morgan went in the 13th round of the MLB draft, it seemed an extreme long shot he’d every come back to school.

Any faint hope ended Saturday when he signed with the Seattle Mariners.

His father tweeted a picture of him signing his deal. Morgan had posted on Instagram when he was picked “Seattle, here I come.”

Morgan had one season in garnet and black but rose quickly to a crucial role.

In a season when the Gamecocks’ rotation came apart at the seams, he became the top arm, throwing on Friday or Saturday nights. He led the team with 87 2/3 innings and 70 strikeouts.

He posted an ERA 0f 3.80 with a 4-6 record in 14 starts. No other Gamecock started more than nine games on the mound.

He was taken 396th overall, in the 13th round. He almost had no choice but to leave as seniors have almost no leverage for contract negations.

He threw five innings as a freshman at Oklahoma State, but then transferred to San Jacinto Community College in Texas. There he went 2-1 in 40 2/3 innings with a 3.10 ERA and 50 strikeouts during his one-season stint.

South Carolina’s 2020 rotation will be heavy on questions. Opening Friday night starter Carmen Mlodzinski will be back after a medical redshirt, as will versatile reliever Brett Kerry. Cam Tringali, second on the team in innings, and T.J. Shook, third, will both be back, but both seemed a bit miscast as starters.

Beyond them, there has been some flux. Logan Chapman left in the middle of the season, Ridge Chapman could take professional money and no one really stepped up into consistent roles this spring. South Carolina is also bringing in some arms from the junior college ranks.